February 16, 2011

Versatile defender looking for right fit

Issac Gross is a young man looking for a home - in more ways than one.

The Batesville (South Panola), Miss., product is not only searching for the right collegiate fit, but he's also trying to figure out what position he's best suited for.

Gross, a 6-foot-3, 235-pounder, is listed as a defensive tackle, but he said this past Saturday most of the schools recruiting him are evaluating him as a defensive end or outside linebacker.

Gross has offers from Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi State and Alabama. Texas is also showing major interest. Gross made the 20-mile trip to Oxford on Saturday to check out Ole Miss, a school he's visited frequently.

"It's a good school," Gross said. "It's in the area and I like it, but I still want to go out and see what else is out there."

Gross is in no hurry to make a decision. He's focusing much more on his game at this point, hoping to "get a little bigger" before he begins his senior season. Gross, who ran a 4.8-second 40-yard dash last summer at Ole Miss' elite camp, said he's hoping to add 15-25 pounds to his frame before he begins his college career.

"The skills I've got are better at defensive end," Gross said. "I played some defensive tackle in high school, but I love to play defensive end."

Gross is also hoping to play a critical role for South Panola in 2011. The Tigers were undefeated in 2010, claiming a state championship as well as the Rivals.com national title.

"The hardest thing we have to do is raise," Gross said. "We've got a whole bunch of young guys coming up. There are like six starters coming back next year, so basically, the whole team is going to be real young. We have a whole lot of teaching to do, make no mistake."

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